Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (51): Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



Title: Six Feet Over It
Author:
Jennifer Longo
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 26, 2014

Home is where the bodies are buried.

Darkly humorous and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Jennifer Longo’s YA debut about a girl stuck living in a cemetery will change the way you look at life, death, and love.

Leigh sells graves for her family-owned cemetery because her father is too lazy to look farther than the dinner table when searching for employees. Working the literal graveyard shift, she meets two kinds of customers:

Pre-Need: They know what’s up. They bought their graves a long time ago, before they needed them.

At Need: They are in shock, mourning a loved one’s unexpected death. Leigh avoids sponging their agony by focusing on things like guessing the headstone choice (mostly granite).

Sarcastic and smart, Leigh should be able to stand up to her family and quit. But her world’s been turned upside down by the sudden loss of her best friend and the appearance of Dario, the slightly-too-old-for-her grave digger. Surrounded by death, can Leigh move on, if moving on means it’s time to get a life?



This sounds like the YA book version of the TV series Six Feet Under, which was a really good show. There's just something about undertakers and coroners that I find extremely interesting. Plus, I'm always on the lookout for fresh YA contemporary authors.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Audiobook Review: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

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Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
Author:
George R.R. Martin
Narrator: Roy Dotrice
Publisher: Bantam Spectra (Random House)
Acquired Via: Personal Collection
Release Date: August 6, 1996

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.


My Review

Hello there, am I late to the party?

*looks around*

I suspected as much.

Yes, I realize that I'm coming into a series nearly two decades after its ascent into awesomedom, but I finally made it you guys! That's what counts, right? I mean, I'm one of those people who wants to wait until the series is finished to begin it because, hello? After eighteen years, there are only five books out. Kayla is not patient enough to wait so long to find out what happens to characters. But that's neither here nor there.

Now, I've tried to read A Game of Thrones before. When I was taking night classes to finish my degree, I attempted to listen to the audiobook. I was new to the media type, and I just couldn't get into Roy Dotrice's voices. I think he may've been too British for me, so I stepped away from the book. I also attempted an A Game of Thrones readalong in September 2012 with Clint from NorthWoods Dork (formerly Geeky Daddy), but I just couldn't get into it, though I got through about 100 pages. It was good, but I just had too many other things to do. I may or may not have left him hanging.

Why did I finally read it? Because, damnit, I'm tired of everyone talking about something without me! I'm supposed to be this book expert at work, and jaws would drop every time I admitted that I haven't read A Game of Thrones or watched the television series. DO NOT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT! I decided to give it another try! I even used up one of my precious Audible credits! (And they are precious to me, by the way. Gollum, gollum.)

Okay, I'm a much more experienced audiobook listener now, so I found Roy Dotrice to be an excellent narrator who was able to capture the essence of each of the characters and created a distinct voice for them. I knew when Arya Stark was talking versus Ser Jorah Mormont, even when I spaced out while driving, because I knew how each character sounded. Roy Dotrice is a rockstar, and I have no idea how I found his voice annoying before. I clearly did not know what was good for me.

As for the writing in A Game of Thrones, you don't need me to tell you that George R.R. Martin is a master novelist. I mean, he has written like eight novels besides A Song of Ice and Fire, and there are some who treat him as a literary god. (I totally get it.) Martin is able to weave this world and create characters that are so complex and addictive that it's a hard book to step away from. I mean, I have review books in stacks waiting for me, but I put everything down to finish A Game of Thrones. Thank Bob that it whispersynced with my Kindle so I could read it when I couldn't listen to it. That's the only reason I'm not as behind on my books as I thought I would be.

Characters, characters, characters... There were only about a zillion of these. Okay, not really, but there are quite a few, and we are given several points of view throughout A Game of Thrones. Let's see... We have Will in the prologue (who I always seem to forget about), Eddard "Ned" Stark, Caitlin Stark, Bran Stark, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister. Of these, my favorites are Arya, Daenerys and Tyrion because they each have something to overcome, and they own their situations. Tyrion is my favorite of favorites because he does not shy away from the truth or telling ANYONE how it is. He my favorite and my best, and if George R.R. Martin kills him off, I will show up at his house and have WORDS with him. You hear me, George?!

If you were like me and hadn't read A Game of Thrones, there is no time like the present to pick up the damn book. You won't regret it. I don't care if you don't like fantasy, multiple POVs, or magnificent things - this book is for you. *looks to the side* And you. so do yourself and your family a favor and read A Game of Thrones. When you're done, be sure to leave the book lying somewhere in your house so when you have visitors they'll know you're one of the cool kids.

And on a closing note, I give you a George R.R. Martin meme that made me giggle.



- 5/5 Stars -

Buy Links
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond




Top Ten Tuesday: Characters With Whom I Want to Be Best Friends

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Characters With Whom I Want to Be Best Friends



1. Kate Daniels
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews

Kate is pretty much my favorite urban fantasy heroine of all time.



2. Jessica Darling
Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling #1) by Megan McCafferty

Jessica reminds a lot of what I was like in high school, except probably a lot cooler and self-aware.



3. Hermione Granger
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1)

Again, I see a lot of myself in Hermione - nerdy, know-it-all in school. Plus, Emma Watson is a pretty awesome person, too.



4. Harry Dresden
Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)

He tries so hard to be a good guy and a good friend, even though he royally screws it up sometimes.



5. Batman

He's the best comic book hero and the most realistic. All of his gadgets would probably come in handy. But, only as long as it's not the one about to be played by Ben Affleck. I just can't get on board with that.



6. Elizabeth Bennett
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Because no one does witty like Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Austen.



7. Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan

So I've only watched the t.v. show, which I love. But, it is supposedly very loosely based on Kathy Reichs' real life and her book series Temperance Brennan. Anyway, I love Bones and her quirky, awkward humor. The boyfriend swears that we are the same person...



8. Rose Hathaway
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead

She's fiercely loyal and is pretty much willing to die for her friends. Plus, she can kick ass. And, I love her snark.



9. Nancy Drew
The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1)

Who didn't want to hang out with Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys and all of their investigations and adventures?



10. Oberon
Hounded (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1)

I really, really want a puppy and would LOVE a giant talking puppy. It would be even better if he was sarcastic and made me crack up.

Which Characters Do You Want to Be Your Best Friends?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Blast (Giveaway): Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

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Title: Big Fat Disaster
Author:
Beth Fehlbaum
Publisher: Merit Press
Book Blast Organizer: Book Nerd Tours
Release Date: April 18, 2014

Insecure, shy, and way overweight, Colby hates the limelight as much as her pageant-pretty mom and sisters love it. It's her life: Dad's a superstar, running for office on a family values platform. Then suddenly, he ditches his marriage for a younger woman and gets caught stealing money from the campaign. Everyone hates Colby for finding out and blowing the whistle on him. From a mansion, they end up in a poor relative's trailer, where her mom's contempt swells right along with Colby's supersized jeans. Then, a cruel video of Colby half-dressed, made by her cousin Ryan, finds its way onto the internet. Colby plans her own death. A tragic family accident intervenes, and Colby's role in it seems to paint her as a hero, but she's only a fraud. Finally, threatened with exposure, Colby must face facts about her selfish mother and her own shame. Harrowing and hopeful, proof that the truth that saves us can come with a fierce and terrible price, Big Fat Disaster is that rare thing, a story that is authentically new.

Book Trailer

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Early Review: (Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

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Title: (Don't You) Forget About Me
Author:
Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: June 10, 2014

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And almost no one ever dies.

Except…

There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.


My Review

(Don't You) Forget About Me is a YA novel by Kate Karyus Quinn that goes heavy on the magical realism and the strange. It has been compared to Stephen King's work - and for good reason - but not for the gory horror that many expect but the exceedingly queer world-building that you may not understand until the very end - if at all. (Don't You) Forget About Me's setting of Gardnerville and main character, Skylar, will capture your interest but leave you scratching your head until the last chapters.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blog Tour (Interview): PERFIDITAS by Alison Morton

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Please join Alison Morton as she tours virtually for PERFIDITAS (Book II, Roma Nova Series) from April 14-May 16 with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

PERFIDITAS

Publication Date: October 17, 2014
SilverWood Books
Paperback; 288p, ISBN-10: 1781321248
eBook; ASIN: B00FXY4GEE

Captain Carina Mitela of the Praetorian Guard Special Forces is in trouble – one colleague has tried to kill her and another has set a trap to incriminate her in a conspiracy to topple the government of Roma Nova.

Founded sixteen hundred years ago by Roman dissidents and ruled by women, Roma Nova barely survived a devastating coup d’état thirty years ago. Carina swears to prevent a repeat and not merely for love of country.

Seeking help from a not quite legal old friend could wreck her marriage to the enigmatic Conrad. Once proscribed and operating illegally, she risks being terminated by both security services and conspirators. As she struggles to overcome the desperate odds and save her beloved Roma Nova and her own life, she faces the ultimate betrayal…


Interview

Hi, Mrs. Morton! Thank you so much for stopping by Bibliophilia, Please to answer some questions. Please tell us a little bit about PERFIDITAS in your own words but with a Twitter twist – 140 characters or less.

A girl’s own adventure with 21st century Romans, love, conspiracy and betrayal, but who can she trust? #BRAGMedallionwinner‬

What inspired you to write a Roman-based alternate history series?

Three things: firstly, a deep fascination with Rome, a life of clambering over Roman walls, cricking my neck looking up at aqueducts, walking on mosaics and handling Roman coins, glass and jewellery. Next, a little worm planted in my head at an early age wondering what a modern Roman society would be like if run by women. And lastly, the dreadful dialogue and storyline in beautifully shot film. I knew I could do better than that…

What kind of research have you done for the Roma Nova series?

Waiting on Wednesday (50): Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennett

2 comments:

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



Title: Banishing the Dark (Arcadia Bell #4)
Author:
Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: May 27, 2014

The fourth and final installment of a "riveting" (RT Book Reviews) urban fantasy series about a renegade mage and the demons who love her.

Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell's life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who's not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady's body. Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, Cady must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception…and how to reverse it. Fast. As she and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon's teenage son Jupe sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities—Moonchild, mage, fugitive—is about to add one more to the list.


I just finished the first three not so long ago and I loved them. I'm so excited that this one is coming out in just a few short weeks! I can't wait to see how Bennett ends the series, although I'm sad to see it go. I already have the first book in one of Bennett's other series, Roaring Twenties, at my house.

What are you waiting on this week?